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 Post subject: Ellyrian Reavers
PostPosted: Fri Mar 25, 2011 9:38 pm 
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I just wanted to see others opinions of them. This is a unit that has great fluff, and is very versatile, but doesn't appear to have any advantages over an eagle, and is far more expensive.

Lets brainstorm some reaver tactics or hear stories of successful employments of reavers or multiple reaver units.


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 Post subject: Re: Ellyrian Reavers
PostPosted: Sat Mar 26, 2011 12:46 am 
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Meridian wrote:
doesn't appear to have any advantages over an eagle

An idea I discussed with krysith was to park a unit of Reavers about 6 inches in front of an enemy infantry block. If he marches, he only goes 5 inches. If he charges, the Reavers are likely to get away, again leaving him with a move of a few inches max.. They should then function normally next turn due to Feigned Flight, while an eagle would have to spend the turn stationery.

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 Post subject: Re: Ellyrian Reavers
PostPosted: Sun Mar 27, 2011 3:20 am 
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Meridian, saw your post on seredain's thread and I completely agree - the image of a mongolian-style fast cavalry force is compelling!
Making it work seems tough, but so what? It'd be a fun list to play.

Some ideas:
multiple level 2 mounted mages running with bow-reavers. Death for sniping and doom + darkness (key), shadow for the lore attribute. A metal too, to give (the only) ability vs high armor.
With the darkness spell, even spear-reavers could break steadfast troops... Possibly.
Many, many eagles. Taking out war machines and missile troops it's essential.
tiranoc chariots? Slower, but might be useful.
And all archer core.

It's an army of support choices! But just maybe, the mages can give your opponent enough of a run-around to deal some damage...

This is an army style I would love to try, so I hope someone with better ideas than me contributes!

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 Post subject: Re: Ellyrian Reavers
PostPosted: Sun Mar 27, 2011 11:37 am 
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I agree, its definitely an army of support choices. I think it would be a little bit hit or miss because of that... I think against certain armies that couldn't catch it or shoot it, it would be good and others, not as much.

I'm quite bored tonight, so I think I'm going to try to make a case for Reavers. There's some good information in this wall of text, I swear, and though it does go all over the place, I'll try to come back around to the topic! Promise. Probably.

Questionable Historical Bit

Historically, as I understand it (and I'm probably wrong; feel free to edumacate' me) Mongolian Armies consisted mostly of mounted troops, backed up by missile armed spearmen and foot archers. They won their battles more on raids and blitzkrieg style hit and run tactics than in large, drawn out infantry battles, and were successful largely because of how evasive and fast they were, as well as their ability to remain in the field indefinitely because of their nomadic lifestyle (logistics). The enemy were used to large, bold, slow infantry tactics, and the Mongolians refused to play the same game.

I think fast cavalry and scouts in general are relegated to support role because of how the game is played. The scenarios in the book, and the size of the table, are all conducive to short and bloody combats. Its decisive, heroic, cinematic and in my view represents the tipping point of a much larger battle. The game doesn't represent the lead up to the battle, where armies are scouting and trying to find each other, jostling for good position and high ground, or the aftermath, where an army has broken, and is being ridden down and scattered.

Questionable advice on expanding Warhammer

Unless you're expanding on the game and playing in really detailed campaigns (IE somewhat boring for most people and interminably long), its hard to represent the actions where horse-archers excel. You'd need to play the game in a car-lot to take advantage of the advantages of maneuver, hit and run, and missile power horse archers possess and it would require the black, wretched, technical soul of a lawyer to appreciate. (My apologies to any actual black-souled, pitiable lawyers out there I may have offended.)

In larger campaigns, and even one off games back in 6th and early 7th, my friends and I would sometimes give bonuses to deployment and terrain placement to armies that include fast cavalry and scouts, which I highly recommend trying at least once.

Applying it to 8th here quickly, without much thought given for balance, you could say that armies may re-roll once on the terrain chart when selecting terrain for each unit of scouts or fast cavalry they have. Also, for each unit of missile scouts or cavalry, a randomly chosen unit in the enemy army suffers 2D6 S3 hits before the fight, though the enemy may elect to take these hits on a unit of his fast cavalry or scouts. Dice off for which player applies damage first, and alternate each unit of scouts or fast cavalry applying its damage in turn until both players run out. This would represent scouts and fast cavalry being sent out against the enemy army for harrying actions as it marched into position, and enemy scouts attempting to delay or stall them with counter-actions.

Anyway, enough of that!

Questionably getting to the point

I think if you're inclined to use them, whether you give extra incentives or not, the first bit would be to compile a short list of what they can do, compare it to what our other support choices (Eagles and Shadow Warriors) can do, and then decide from there.
I think its important to look at all three choices holistically to get a better feel for how Reavers should be used. I'll get the ball rolling as I've been thinking about this anyway, then others can add more to it if I've missed something or correct me if I've gotten something wrong. When that's sorted, and everyone is on the same page, then we can start talking about tactics.

Questionable Pro and Con list

Reaver Knights:

Pros:
- Movement. Vanguard Move can put them into shooting/charge range quickly, providing very early pressure. It also allows the Reavers to give no clue to the rest of your deployment, as they can re-deploy quickly.
- Missiles. With bows, they can provide constant harassment to the enemy, even while marching. This allows them to sit on flanks and 'plunk' enemies, without the pressure to immediately charge into action.
- Spears. They provide S4 on the charge, useful for taking on Warmachines or Light Missile Troops.
- Variable Kit. They can be taken with Spears(17 points each), Bows (19 each), or Bows and Spears (21 pts), depending on how you intend to use them. This actually makes Reavers some of the most economical troops in our army, or some of the most expensive...
- Swiftstride. This allows them to make long charges, pursuit and flee movements more reliably than infantry. This allows you to sit them at the edge of their maximum charge range, which adds something to their protection from missiles. They can then wait for a combined charge into the flank while contributing bowfire, and then make this charge more reliably, and when the enemy breaks, pursue them more reliably.
- Free and Swift Reform. This makes the unit incredibly flexible; there's no excuse for it not to be pointing in the direction you want with a little foresight, and they can maneuver easily around terrain, impassible or dangerous, as well as enemy formations.
- Feigned Flight. This makes Reavers ideal for bait-and-flee tactics, as well as march blocking.

Cons:
- 6+ save. While not much worse than the rest of our army, they are more expensive, depending on how you kit them. This is mitigated somewhat by their ability to skirt the maximum range of enemy missile troops in some cases.
- Expensive. While they're relatively cheap if armed with just spears or bows, they are more expensive than Silver Helms if armed with both.
- Protracted Combat. Without strong armor, throwing these units into a battle of attrition is almost always a doomed affair.
- Characters. Characters that join the unit cause the entire unit to lose its Fast Cavalry status, which hurts many of their primary roles. They also offer very little protection to the character when compared to something like Silver Helms, although they can still shoot.
- Buildings. Mounted troops in general should probably not be used against them, as they lose all their benefits and can't hold them.
- Special Choice. They compete for points with our Elite Infantry, the bulk of most High Elf armies.

Shadow Warriors:

- Scout. They can deploy extremely close to the enemy, putting them in danger of an early charge and close range bowfire.
- Missile Fire. They're armed with longbows, so they'll almost always be within range, if not short range.
- Hatred. While not nearly as useful as it used to be, this ensures that they'll be re-rolling hits against units with higher initiative or ASF.
- Buildings. This, I feel, is their strongest use - a unit of Shadow Warriors can be deployed into a building and fire from it all game, as well as march-blocking. They're also disproportionately hard to shift - most enemy combat units can, but it takes more time than its worth, while an equal sized unit will have difficulty.
- Skirmish. Both a help and a hindrance, I'll summarize both here quickly, they get -1 to hit, free reforms, and fire on the march, making them ideal as missile troops... but are penalized with no ranks, no steadfast (unless in terrain!) and cannot disorder ranks. This makes them ideal for sitting in terrain and being an annoyance, but weakens them in combat significantly.

Cons:
- Expense. They're expensive, making them hard to take in larger units without them becoming huge targets.
- Vulnerability. While they do quite well against missile fire (they benefit from -2 in terrain) they can be wiped out or crippled by a single magic missile.
- Protracted Combats. Their Skirmish status and their price tag ensures that they have neither the numbers or muscle to handle anything ranked unit without dying. However, they can hold up a missile unit from firing, and can wipe out machine crews in short order.
- Maneuverability. While they're more maneuverable than infantry blocks, they have a wide foot-print due to their staggered Skirmish formation.
- Special choice. See Reavers.
- Skirmish. Curse you Skirmish!

Eagles:

Pro:
- They're awesome. Eagles are hands down one of the best units in the army, if not the game.
- Maneuverable. With Fly, they can provide a very early threat to warmachines, missile troops and other scouts and fast cavalry. Though they won't always win, they are...
- Economical. At 50 points each, they're cheap as chips and since most people don't like RBT any longer, you can buy 4 of them in a standard army quite easily for 200 points, freeing up more points for Elite Infantry. Even if you're like me and see the use in an RBT, you'll most likely not be taking more than 2, and so you can still take 4 Eagles. Simply put, the only limitation on them is the cost of the actual model, and if you're clever, there are a lot of alternatives out there.
- Versatility. I struggle to conceive of an army out there that they would be of no use against. There are entire threads out there on their use, so I'll keep this short.
- Rare Choice. They compete with RBT. See above. They don't really cut into the rest of the army, while Shadow Warriors and Reavers do.

Cons:
- Rare Choice. You can only take 4 of them.
- 3 wounds. They do die quite easily, although they're so economical I struggle to care. They're the closest thing to chaff our otherwise elite army has.
- PETA. If Great Eagles were real, they'd be an endangered species. They seem purpose-built to throw under the bus.

Right then. I'm sure I missed a dozen things, but I'm tired of that part now. Feel free to add things though.

Questionable Unit Comparison of Shadow Warriors, Eagles and Reavers

So then, I mentioned several tactics above in my overly verbose pro and con list above.

So now, many of you will be wondering whether or not one should take Shadow Warriors or Reavers in comparison to Eagles, and rightly so! Eagles are so good, and are such a bargain, that they can serve many of the same purposes, and points in a High Elf list are always at a premium. I think its safe to assume that support units in general, besides our obligatory core troops, is always in a tooth and nail fight for points with our elite infantry.

While I don't like telling people how they should build their lists (the length of this post might suggest otherwise, but its a purely a reflection of unemployment, I assure you. Possibly some form of Autism as well.), I would never advise cutting too heavily into the elite infantry selection for most standard builds. There are exceptions, like heavy cavalry lists, avoidance lists, or shooting lists, but I think its safe to assume that for a default, standard list, elite infantry will always be doing the lions share of the fighting and dying, and so I would recommend not spending too much more than a quarter of your army at most on things like Reavers, Eagles or Shadow Warriors unless you've got something special in mind.

The Precious Quarter

Most functioning High Elf lists at around 2-2.5k are remarkably homogeneous in organization when you get down to it, which probably fits our character.
You have your Lord and Heroes, usually an Archmage and a BSB, because Magic is too important to ignore, and our army is too small to sacrifice reliability in leadership. It usually adds up to a quarter or slightly less of the army - if you're spending the allowed combined 50% on Lords and Heroes and doing well, I'd be very curious.

Next you have Core, which is usually always a quarter as well, as most people don't want to spend more than the minimum and I usually don't blame them, even though I love my Seaguard. A lot of the variance and individuality of the army can be found here .

Then you have your Specials, which can be a maximum of 50% of your army, and certainly you could make an effective army out of nothing but what I've listed so far - many people do. I think the variety and individuality of the army mainly comes down to which of the three elites you choose to make up the bulk of your force.

Now this is the main difference in army builds that I see. Most people will take a few eagles if they can - they'll have taken minimum core, and then they may still have 50 to 100 points for their Lords and Heroes, but not everyone is comfortable cutting into that 50% of Specials. There's very little slack or variety in list design because of that.

I really think that if you're not comfortable cutting into that, then there's no reason to even consider using anything for support other than eagles, but if you are, and you're still reading this, and you've been a good little boy/girl/other, then I'm going to teach you about something I've dubbed The Precious Quarter (TM).

Many of you have been following Seredain's cavalry thread, and among those that have, he's become something of a Ulthuan celebrity for his AUDACIOUS use of cavalry. You could almost hear the resounding 'spelunk' of hundreds of jaded internet wargamer monocles landing in their tea simultaneously with the bold statement that yes, cavalry still has a major use. I think though, that there's a second and less recognized part at play.

He's cut all his elite units down to almost the minimum amount required to be of any use. Their use now lies in the fact that they must be used together in concert, but when they are, the sheer amount of damage they generate often evaporates the enemy, thus ensuring their safety. Since there are so many units, and enemy gunlines are presumably under attack via cavalry bus very quickly, the danger of missile fire to the slower infantry is mitigated somewhat.

This is where I think that we can find this Precious Quarter to spend for our points on support - by hacking down our elite infantry to the point where Reavers, Shadow Warriors, Chariots, RBT, and yes, Eagles too can all be of use.

By hacking up my three standard blocks of 25-30 elite infantry into half-units of 14 to 20, I've now got six - I could probably use this alone, as the benefit of having multiple units for combined arms tactics outstrips their use as a one on one battering ram. From there, I can start removing these half-units and replacing them with support elements.

And this is where I think that taking a medley of not only eagles, but Shadow Warriors and Reavers can become useful. The points become much less tight this way, however, it gets tighter in how the army must play - every unit must perform as part of a whole, even more so than normal, to be effective.

The Bloody Point Emerges!

I think this is where Reavers, among Shadow Warriors and Eagles, begin to be of real use - the High Elf army excels in close combat. However, if it goes 1 on 1 against the enemy, it quickly gets ground down, due to return attacks. Therefore, you're left with two options - take huge blocks of 30 elite infantry to withstand the attrition, and open yourself up to Dwellers, Mortars and all that other happy-shite that makes me cry, or, split your forces up and try to take units on two at a time, if not three at a time.

Great, I hear you cry, but how in the holy hell are High Elves supposed to manage this? My Skaven opponent has blocks clear across the table, with only an inch gap between them! High Elves are consistently outnumbered by enemy, even if they split up into half units, you silly yank! By carefully using those small units of expendable Reavers and Eagles to pull the enemy into disarray, our hero responds with characteristic arrogance and disdain!

There was a topic I was reading over at Asrai.org recently about a much-maligned tactic, or trick in some people's opinion, of using two units of Fast Cavalry to cause an opponent to have an incomplete charge. I'll paraphrase here as best I can, but it should be easy to find.

Essentially, you place two units of Fast Cavalry parallel to each other, one in front, one behind, inch apart, both facing the enemy unit. The enemy has to declare a charge if he wants to get anywhere, whereupon the first unit (A) flees. Even if he gets a very short roll, he lands on top of the unit behind (B), and slides over it another inch. The enemy has to stop an inch from unit B, since he can't move into unit B without charging, so he redirects the charge into B. B flees behind A, and since the enemy unit can only redirect once, he's stopped cold. You've pulled him forward a few inches inches out of line, and the unit can be ganged up upon by chariots, elite infantry, etc.

Against a gunline, the Reavers can just run-pell mell for the enemy missile troops and attempt to tie them up. If you've got 2 units of Reavers (or more, for your Mongolian list), a unit of Shadow Warriors, and several eagles, you should still have enough for a solid infantry line as well, especially if you're using Spearelves as your Core Choice.

I'll stop there, as I think I've worn out my keyboard, but hopefully that will keep the topic going, or at the very least, cause a huge wave of argument and backlash that we can all bicker about. :)


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 Post subject: Re: Ellyrian Reavers
PostPosted: Sun Mar 27, 2011 4:36 pm 
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Wow....

The strategy you spoke about with fast cav and the failed charge execution is pretty similar to how the Mongols chose to fight if it could be translated onto a wargaming table. I agree that there are very few ancient armies that you can be properly emulated on a 4x6 suface, as the Mongolians used their light calvary for scouting and intelligence gathering as well.

Their entire army was almost entirely on horseback and they used the horse archers to force the enemy to chase therefore breaking up their ranks and making them more susceptible to heavy calvary/lancers which would run down the scattered formations. They also feigned retreat often for 100s of miles in order to pull the enemy into disorganization.

I think Seredain's threads biggest strength is showing everyone the effectiveness of NOT running around with huge formations that are easy to surround, and using Maneuver as a primary battle tactic.

Reavers are great at maneuver, they can go anywhere and face anywhere they want. They can pull enemies out of formation and avoid combat for as long as you don't get chased down. If you incorporate them with lancers ie Dragon Princes, then I think you could start seeing a use for pulling these infantry blocks out of line and then getting effective charges.

Reavers biggest weakness I think, is 5 of them only have 5 str 3 shots. Only very small units will fear that and it would take several turns of shooting to kill even their equal points in our toughness 3 elites. Also, no matter how shooty and good at avoidance your army is, because you have to kill entire units, its very difficult to justify points in an army that can't at least contribute some killing or neglect killing.

Reavers however are excellent at killing war machines, and scouting troops.

I'm still working on a list to incorporate them, currently I have a prince with the bolt thrower bow mounted. He can provide quite a bit of trouble to anyone with flank shots that rank pierce. I think you have to combine shooting with some way to run troops down, and maybe thats where the DPs role is, using reavers to finally get a rear charge, and win combat res, and run people down.

Scattered thoughts, but again, I think that even in Seredains calvary bus, the need for his white lions and sword masters has only been for cleaning up a game that is clearly won. I'm not sure that couldn't be done with an altered list.


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 Post subject: Re: Ellyrian Reavers
PostPosted: Sun Mar 27, 2011 5:36 pm 
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@ meridian

Agreed that seredain's first 4 turns barely use his infantry at all. My ellyrian side thinks this is an argument for all-cavalry special allowance. But my cynical side says it only works that way because the elites were there, being a threat...

@ milliardo

I think my interpretation of the fast cavalry rule has been wrong:( back in 4th ed when it first appeared, anything mounted on a horse-equivalent with no better than 5+ save was considered fast cavalry. Characters wouldn't change that by joining the unit as long as they also had no better than 5+. I've been assuming it was the same in 8th, but a quick look through the rule book finds nowhere to justify this hope! So my vision of fast-cavalry characters is dashed at the outset.

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 Post subject: Re: Ellyrian Reavers
PostPosted: Sun Mar 27, 2011 5:51 pm 
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Telemachus@I know what you mean - I love the idea of using an Ellyrian hero with Reaver Bow to augment a unit of bow armed characters, and use it as firebase. I think in this sort of list though, you could use those same characters in Silver Helms units to make them ultra-killey, and then use the Reavers to run interference for them. Its not the same though, but how safe would they be in 5+ save cavalry anyway?

Meridian wrote:
I'm still working on a list to incorporate them, currently I have a prince with the bolt thrower bow mounted. He can provide quite a bit of trouble to anyone with flank shots that rank pierce. I think you have to combine shooting with some way to run troops down, and maybe thats where the DPs role is, using reavers to finally get a rear charge, and win combat res, and run people down.
I've been thinking about what kind of list I'd like to take around this theme as well... if you've got a rough draft, I'd be interested in seeing it.

What would you take for core? I was considering using multiple small units of archers, since they don't need to keep pace with the cavalry to contribute to the battle, but I also keep thinking about the Watchtower scenario... I think I'd keep with my Seaguard for that reason.

I actually think a Star Dragon with a Prince built for survival could do really well in this sort of list, but I'd be tempted to copy-paste something like Seredain's cavalry bus into the army, or even field two of them, and use whatever was left of my special allotment for bow-armed Reavers, to act as redirectors along with the eagles. I do agree that you don't necessarily need ranked infantry to remove steadfast, provided you can obliterate people on the charge, so I'm picturing two silver helm buses with support characters that combo-charge units - the eagles and Reavers would try to stall the rest of the army so the buses could go to town. I feel the Dragon could really be effective though at drawing fire away from the other parts of the army...

In the end, anything I say is more or less theory hammer, as I've not played with much cavalry, even during the 6th edition cavalryhammer craze. I suppose I was trying to be counter-culture and so I successfully learned to use infantry blocks supported by cavalry very well, so my horse-fu is weak. I do however like light cavalry, and have about a dozen Reavers, and I've been trying to incorporate them more into my lists.


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 Post subject: Re: Ellyrian Reavers
PostPosted: Sun Mar 27, 2011 6:14 pm 
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@ milliardo, they certainly wouldn't be safe, but what do they care? They're reckless speed/danger junkies! I too have a reaver bow noble, light armor, steed, talisman of protection (to represent luck as much as anything), whom I was planning to use in a reaver unit <sob> ... Oh well.
Would it be so bad to run characters alongside the cavalry? With direct damage spells they don't need LoS so you could hide them a bit, and still have a 4+ look out roll.

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 Post subject: Re: Ellyrian Reavers
PostPosted: Sun Mar 27, 2011 6:20 pm 
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I am still going back and forth, I think the challenge I'm having is how to incorporate target saturation so that I can have multiple hammers.

Currently I'm at 25 spears for core with two groups of 15ish archers and 2 RBTs, the Spears I think can serve as a decent enough anvil to guard the archers, and I also have a lion chariot supporting the spears. Everything else I would like to be calvary of some kind.

Like you I avoided calvary in 7th and now that its not popular I'm gravitating toward it (I guess I'm just a non conformist conformist)

I actually had the prince with a +1AS rerollable and the opal amulet, and have him going solo, I know its a risk...
I have to include a high mage also for curse of arrow attraction, because I have to inflict damage with the shooting otherwise I WILL lose.

I was thinking a dragon would fit also, but I had a dragon mage, flying artillery, avoiding combat like the rest of my army while being able to provide a charge that could break a weakened unit.

I'll work on putting together a 2k list today and see what I can come up with. I may wait till 2.5k to incorporate a dragon mage.

I'm debating a BSB as my army will be spread around the board I'm not sure how valuable he will be, although I would like him close to the feigned retreating reavers...

I like the idea of silverhelms being the carrier for a shooting hero, but at the same time I'm thinking 8 or 9 may be too many, and like the idea of the solo character to take pressure off other units. Only empire and dwarfs, and to some extent skaven, are going to be REALLY scary for the shooting.


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 Post subject: Re: Ellyrian Reavers
PostPosted: Sun Apr 10, 2011 10:06 pm 
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maybe that's a it off topic, but... This is my favourite tread ever!!! Also I've found myself using reavers in all of my battles.... most opponents I've faced just ignore them. And since those opponents were lizardmen with horde, TK... they were ignored for a reason.


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 Post subject: Re: Ellyrian Reavers
PostPosted: Mon Apr 11, 2011 12:14 am 
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How's the list going, Meridian? Making any headway?


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 Post subject: Re: Ellyrian Reavers
PostPosted: Tue Apr 12, 2011 2:48 pm 
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I think I may have something. When I get home from work I'll post it up. Of course I don't think its ulta competitive, but I think it makes good use of the reavers.


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 Post subject: Re: Ellyrian Reavers
PostPosted: Wed Apr 13, 2011 2:48 am 
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Im looking forward to some reason to justify fielding the ace models. If they weren't competing for special allotment I field a unit just for the spectacle.

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 Post subject: Re: Ellyrian Reavers
PostPosted: Wed Apr 13, 2011 6:15 pm 
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but cant ellyrian reavers remove rankbonus?
a unit of 10+ keeping em cheap with bows would make them a great flanker


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 Post subject: Re: Ellyrian Reavers
PostPosted: Wed Apr 13, 2011 6:44 pm 
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Yes, they can. However, you have to keep these 10 in order to negate rank bonus which is not easy for such fragile unit. I also think they would attract too much attention. I really wish they are in Core as Dark Riders, I would gladly replace my Archers with two units of fast cavalry.

Wishful thinking aside, I still believe they can be useful. I am going to start with a single small unit of 5, equipped with spears and bows. I don't have any brilliant ideas yet how to use them effectively apart from everybody knows about them. As any other element in the army they need to co-operate but it seems that often they will be sent for solitary missions. I do hope, however, that with 2 eagles and 5 naked Dragon Princes they will form effective fast element of my army. That would also mean they would relieve my heavy hitting Knights with a Prince to focus on tough targets and staying closer to Spearelves and Swordmasters. As to flank, rear charges remember, that even if they do not negate rank bonus they always might add that +1 for charge and +1/2 for flank/rear to combat before any casualties. It might be that winning edge as I have found once by crumbling Black Coach engaged from the front by Swordmasters.

@Meridian
I am also interested in your army list and its performance so do not hesitate to post it and to add your further comments! Cheers!

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 Post subject: Re: Ellyrian Reavers
PostPosted: Wed Apr 13, 2011 7:33 pm 
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Not so sold on eagles anymore, considering how less rewarding redirecting is nowadays. Something people always forget with reavers is that they can 'box' in units on flanks very easy, due to reforming into a long line and nestling up 1 inch from the flank of a unit so they can't wheel. They're not such a bad unit, like a unit of 12 with a flag and music that can threaten a flank with up to 12 st4 attacks with ASF rerolls + horse, not bad augmenting damage for a combo charge, and they have the mobility to get into position. Worth the points? Not sure, high elves really are starved for good support units.

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 Post subject: Re: Ellyrian Reavers
PostPosted: Wed Apr 13, 2011 10:25 pm 
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I love reavers too, and have always wanted to get enough of them to field a large force of them! I love this discussion of them and how they could be played as a mongol-horde army, as that is one of my favorite historical armies.

Praise aside, I think reavers would do much better in ETC rules honestly. In ETC rules (and correct me if I'm wrong) BUT models with at least one rank cause disruption in the flank or rear, and models that are disrupted do not gain steadfast. Think of that: Reavers engaged to the front and a unit of 10 on the flanks: If it is a weaker infantry unit (lower save and low S attack), they would have to kill 5 on the flank to remove the rank, and if they don't remove 6 they lose combat and aren't steadfast! That could be a great ploy to use against weaker enemy core (clanrats, goblins, etc). Two units of reavers could, theoretically, eliminate a horde of 40-50 goblins! That will put a dent in his lines, and that seems like exactly the type of quick strike Ghengis Khan would be proud of!

As far as your characters, why not try mounting your noble/princes on a great eagle? I've done this a few games, and it is a ton of fun to use. yes, me may get shot or blown out of the air with magic, but giving him a ward and/or magic armor could help that. He could keep up with the reavers and charge in concert with them. He can even engage a different side of the enemy (possibly adding an extra 2+ to combat resolution) as well while still causing the carnage required. It really reflects the speed that is the focus, I'd imagine, of an army of Ellyria.

Obviously, if you go for a full-out ellyrian army, a metal mage would help to deal with the enemy elites (cavalry and heavily-armed infantry). On the charge, they're only S4, so it would be nice to have something compliment this by providing a means, other than your lords and nobles, to eliminate enemy heavy cavalry. I have faith reavers could deal with light infantry if you team them up, but enemy cavalry is the only barrier I see that limits them.

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 Post subject: Re: Ellyrian Reavers
PostPosted: Thu Apr 14, 2011 2:45 am 
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Sorry for the delay, but I have a list that I feel would be tactically flexible and uses entirely calvary with 2 units of Reavers. I think it could use some revising, and it will be a while before I get a chance to play test it, but maybe one of you here could try it out.

Prince- Barded Elven Steed
Bow of Seafarer, Helm of Fortune, Opal Amulet
Great Weapon, Dragon Armor, Shield

This guy can ride in a group or solo, with a 1+ rerollable. He would be vulnerable to cannons yes, but hes mobile and should be able to hide. Also he has a very accurate STR no armor save shot that can pierce ranks and does D3 wounds. Ideal for Enemy Calvary and Heavy Infantry, as well as hes formidable in close combat.

Archmage
Annulian Crystal
I haven't decided what lore but I'm leaning towards High (FotP, Curse of Arrow) Life (Dwellers and ability to heal the Prince), Fire (flaming sword is amazing for shooting, and flaming cage helps control movement) and Metal (for obvious heavy armor armies)

Noble - Barded Elven Steed
Reaver Bow
Merlord Helm (just because its a 10pt +1AS)
BSB, Great Weapon, Dragon Armor

This is another accurate shooter who has high enough strength to get through most armor, and good enough accuracy that he can really do some damage.

30 Spearmen FC Gleaming Banner
They will probably not be close to the BSB so they may need the reroll

15 Archers with Mus

16 Archers with Mus (Mage here)

Lion Chariot
I thought a lot about this one, and I decided that the lion chariot is a great way to protect the spears on the back lines and prevent the enemy from rolling up my flanks. Hes a good deterrent and can provide needed punch on units that get through the hail of arrows.

2 RBTs

1 Eagle

2x 5 Reavers with spears and bows with musicians
These can run together with the Prince or seperate, but if they stay near the prince they are supported with good leadership for feigned retreat, and also get the help they need on a flank or rear charge. I like their speed, they can cover the prince from cannons, and with 2 units and an eagle, you should be on the enemies back lines in no time.

5 Dragon Princes MUS Drakemaster
Drakemaster with potion of strength
I wanted to save points and run them naked, but I think with no elite infantry the drakemaster being STR8 (for challenges or monsters) and STR 6 in the 2nd rd of combat allows them to be able to sustain a bit longer and gives them some more punch. The Prince could also join them if needed.

9 Silver Helms with Shields and FC
This is where I would put my BSB. Its a good bus for him, and with the ability to fire 3 STR5 shots they can wait all day for the perfect flank charge and set traps. It allows the BSB to be in a unit to protect him and also gives them the ability to wait without being completely useless.

The entire army is obviously pretty small on unit count, but all but the spears, chariot, and dragon princes have the ability to shoot, and the DPs can if the prince is there, making this a great army to dance around taking shots and weakening the enemy. You would need to FF units I think and then charge in with Silver helms and Dragon princes to break, while defending a flank with spears and the chariot. The bolt throwers will scare people, and the Eagle can be another addition on a VERY fast flank force.

Let me know what you guys think, it may be a decent start, and is certainly a way to incorporate fast archery units, into small elite hammers. I'm putting together reavers now to hopefully get a test run in a few weeks at the local game store, and I'm excited to try it out.


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 Post subject: Re: Ellyrian Reavers
PostPosted: Thu Apr 14, 2011 3:56 am 
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looks good. my only thing is that i think that the lion chariot may not be the best use of points. you could buy two and probably 3 more eagles which would do you wonders with redirecting which is good with this kind of a list. also, instead of the chariot you could buy 5 more SH's or DP's which dish out more attacks and are more mobile.

i like the character set up but i think that you should buy your lord a ward save somehow. a lucky cannon or stone thrower could really ruin your day.


finally, it looks good, ill test it out sometime this week and let you know what happens

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 Post subject: Re: Ellyrian Reavers
PostPosted: Thu Apr 14, 2011 7:49 am 
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Meridian wrote:
2x 5 Reavers with spears and bows with musicians
These can run together with the Prince or seperate, but if they stay near the prince they are supported with good leadership for feigned retreat, and also get the help they need on a flank or rear charge. I like their speed, they can cover the prince from cannons, and with 2 units and an eagle, you should be on the enemies back lines in no time.

It's probably not a good idea to put your prince (or any other character for that matter) with your reavers. Fast Cavalry looses their fast cavalry rules when they are joined by a character that doesn't have the fast cavalry rule. So no vanguard move, no fast reform, no feigned flight from them with a character in them.

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 Post subject: Re: Ellyrian Reavers
PostPosted: Thu Apr 14, 2011 7:49 am 
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Meridian wrote:
2x 5 Reavers with spears and bows with musicians
These can run together with the Prince or seperate, but if they stay near the prince they are supported with good leadership for feigned retreat, and also get the help they need on a flank or rear charge. I like their speed, they can cover the prince from cannons, and with 2 units and an eagle, you should be on the enemies back lines in no time.

It's probably not a good idea to put your prince (or any other character for that matter) with your reavers. Fast Cavalry looses their fast cavalry rules when they are joined by a character that doesn't have the fast cavalry rule. So no vanguard move, no fast reform, no feigned flight from them with a character in them.

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 Post subject: Re: Ellyrian Reavers
PostPosted: Thu Apr 14, 2011 11:38 am 
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Sorry for the clarification error, I mean the Prince can run along side the Reavers, but not actually in them.

Can't really afford a good ward save if I want the +1 rerollable against massed shooting. I think that I can avoid a cannon shot with LOS, and I have the 4++ one time use if something terrible happens. Can't win them all.

I know the Lion Chariot is expensive, and maybe DPs would be a better use, but its not trying to be mobile so much is to help the spears break things that get through lines, its small base size for the number of attacks it gets, could mean winning combat, and with spears going 5x6 or 6x5, hopefully breaking steadfast and forcing a break.

I think this army basically sets up a small fire base, and then dances around the enemy forcing them into the fatal funnel of archers, and harasses flanks until units are small enough to overrun.

The Magic phase will be really important also, as giant hordes will be the weakness of this list, as they are difficult to eliminate entirely from shooting.

The more I think on it, High Magic seems to make the most sense. Curse of Arrow will be very important, but FotP will be deadly as well. A 5+ Ward save is never bad either, and I like the tactical implications of Vauls Unmaking. I actually think Fire comes in at 2nd if not for the fact that its just even more shooting, slightly higher STR and flaming sword and flame cage both synergize well with the list.


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 Post subject: Re: Ellyrian Reavers
PostPosted: Thu Apr 14, 2011 5:08 pm 
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jwg20 wrote:
Praise aside, I think reavers would do much better in ETC rules honestly. In ETC rules (and correct me if I'm wrong)

I am afraid you are. It was under the early draft and they have abandoned that rule (which is a good thing, I don't like ETC rules much anyway).

jwg20 wrote:
As far as your characters, why not try mounting your noble/princes on a great eagle? I've done this a few games, and it is a ton of fun to use. yes, me may get shot or blown out of the air with magic, but giving him a ward and/or magic armor could help that. He could keep up with the reavers and charge in concert with them. He can even engage a different side of the enemy (possibly adding an extra 2+ to combat resolution) as well while still causing the carnage required. It really reflects the speed that is the focus, I'd imagine, of an army of Ellyria.

Flying characters, especially now that there is a unified profile for a prince/noble riding an eagle, can be quite good. It is definitely a thing to consider. Any particular set-ups in mind? I have seen recently and army with a Prince on Dragon and BSB on Eagle (using a model for Griffon Rider from IoB) and apparently that army did quite good too.

jwg20 wrote:
Obviously, if you go for a full-out ellyrian army, a metal mage would help to deal with the enemy elites (cavalry and heavily-armed infantry). On the charge, they're only S4, so it would be nice to have something compliment this by providing a means, other than your lords and nobles, to eliminate enemy heavy cavalry. I have faith reavers could deal with light infantry if you team them up, but enemy cavalry is the only barrier I see that limits them.

That is an interesting point. We do use magic to boost our troops so it is probably important thing to find out what could help Reavers be even more effective. Thanks for bringing that to attention! :)

Meridian wrote:
Let me know what you guys think, it may be a decent start, and is certainly a way to incorporate fast archery units, into small elite hammers. I'm putting together reavers now to hopefully get a test run in a few weeks at the local game store, and I'm excited to try it out.

That is definitely a very interesting list. You can actually still run your characters in Silver Helms and shoot at your enemy as sometimes you would try and perform this flanking manoeuver with them. You cannot march in order to shoot but you have other fast elements to occupy your enemy at the same time. I am really curious as this army is going to perform so be sure to give us detailed report. :)

I started to think what Reavers have than other units do not in our army. It seems they compete with eagles but I don't think they simply duplicate their roles. Usually we consider them fully equipped but is it always necessary? 5 with spears but no bows cost 85 points. With bows only 95 points while with bows and spears 105 points. This can be the difference between fielding them or not at all. Personally, I prefer to equip them with everything. Thanks to that I had some success in hunting down weapon teams while at the same time hitting light troops harder.

With re-rolls to hit Reavers seem to be more combat orientated fast cavalry (as opposed to Dark Riders in my opinion). What I think can help them further is their formation. If you run them 3 wide in two ranks they can concentrate more of these S4 attacks on narrower frontage. This can be useful against war machines but also against the flank of some shooters.

I think that in order to use them properly we need to consider them in our particular army list. They will be used differently in the all cavalry, Genghis Khan style, army and probably differently in combined arms force. With that in mind I think it is useful to answer following questions:

1. How do you equip your Reavers and into what kind of army do you try to incorporate them?

2. How do you use Vanguard rule, e.g. deploy on one flank and then put the rest of the army on the other and re-deploy?

3. How do you plan to support Reavers magically, if at all?

4. How do you use their Fact Cavalry rules, i.e. it is quite obvious they can run away from the charge and then come back but how do you make it happen?

Cheers!

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 Post subject: Re: Ellyrian Reavers
PostPosted: Thu Apr 14, 2011 6:33 pm 
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Well, I am not sure about an Ellyrian-themed eagle-prince, but my Charce-themed one is pretty straightforward.

Prince
Great Weapon
Dragon Armor
Helm of Fortunte
Great Eagle (modeled as flying lion. Amazing).
Potion of Strength
(talisman of Loec Optional; I use it in 3k games but not in 2.5).

3+ re-rollable armor save with a 20 inch march and S6 (S9 with PoS) attacks is pretty solid, and can deal with just about everything. Talisman of Loec helps too against enemy characters (especially when combined with PoS).

I use him in concert with my Heavy Cav and Chariots. I rarely send him out to do things on his own, unless its hunting War Machines or anything else that is small.

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 Post subject: Re: Ellyrian Reavers
PostPosted: Thu Apr 14, 2011 6:36 pm 
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Also, where is the rule for combining stats of a GE and Lord? I can't find it anywhere in the rulebook and I haven't been using that rule...

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 Post subject: Re: Ellyrian Reavers
PostPosted: Thu Apr 14, 2011 7:18 pm 
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On p.85 under Monstrous Beasts it states that character & mount follow the rules for monstrous cavalry. On p.83 under the Juggernaut statistics there is a paragraph you were looking for.

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 Post subject: Re: Ellyrian Reavers
PostPosted: Fri Apr 15, 2011 1:21 am 
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I think the key to this sort of army is managing threat. I like the idea of running cavalry characters beside and not in. It forces the enemy to choose what he is going to six dice spells. Character or unit. I Like the idea of a dragon mage in this kind of army actually.

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 Post subject: Re: Ellyrian Reavers
PostPosted: Fri Apr 15, 2011 12:08 pm 
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Quote:
Usually we consider them fully equipped but is it always necessary? 5 with spears but no bows cost 85 points.

I always field then pretty much naked - just with a musician. Keeps 5 Reavers under the cost of 2 Eagles. Aside from the obvious benefits to the Eagles of Fly and the fact they are two seperate units, the Revaers actually compare relatively well fielded like this:

W5 T3 AS5+ vs W6 T4 AS-
5 ASF S4 attacks & 5 S3 attacks (10 total) vs 4 S4 attacks (plus stomp against certain opponents)

In addition, the Reavers get their Fast Cavalry benefits (Vanguard, Free Reform, Feigned Flight) that go some way towards making up for the fact the eagles fly and are two seperate targets.

Effectively, close combat Reavers are a more fragile but harder hitting version of the Eagles, and I find they can do very well as war machine hunters. Of particular note is the fact that with poor rolls to hit Eagles can easily get bogged down against war machines, wheras reavers both hit harder (rerolls, more attacks) and have the +1 from their musician to ensure the war machine crew flee earlier. So while an Eagle might well take 2-3 turns of combat to take out a war machine, Reavers can reliably do it in a single turn against most opponents and be free to deal with other threats.


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 Post subject: Re: Ellyrian Reavers
PostPosted: Fri Apr 15, 2011 12:57 pm 
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tethlis the slayer wrote:
Effectively, close combat Reavers are a more fragile but harder hitting version of the Eagles,

Are they realy that much more fragile?
Basically it's T3, 5+ As and 5 wounds vs T4, no As and 6 wounds if you take 2 eagles. The armour save makes up for the 1T difference and the 1 wound. Haven't done the math, but I would guess the only difference is at s5. At lower strength the armour save makes up the difference and at higher strength the T difference is non-existant. And S5 or higher units are not the best targets to charge if you actually want to win the fight.

Also, while an eagle has fly and thus better overall movement, in early turns the ER are actually at an advantage. fly gives you 20'' maximum move turn 1, vanguard + M9 gives you a 30'' first turn move (and if you go second a maximum 33'' charge). Only after turn 2 are the eagles at a slight advantage.

I should definatly give the reavers a go. While maybe not as expendable as an eagle, they should definatly do well I feel. I'll see if I can make a nice list.

Rod

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 Post subject: Re: Ellyrian Reavers
PostPosted: Fri Apr 15, 2011 2:12 pm 
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I think comparing them based on purely killyness may be the wrong way to go about it also. You don't take fast cav to kill things, they are an all around nuisance unit intending to disrupt and move around. I think with the feigned flight rule Reavers are about equal to Eagles in terms of mobility and options because they can stay active by being able to move after they rally.

I also agree though that for war machine hunters the bows are probably not necessary. I'm wondering how effective you could actually whittle down huge hordes though. At my scene there are usually 1-4 blocks of 40+ models where shooting isn't quite as effective.


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